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hello and welcome to nhk "newsline." i'm ross mihara in tokyo with the stories at this hour. japanese prime minister shinzo abe and u.s. president barack obama have met for the first time. they just wrapped up a meeting in washington and touched on everything from the threat posed by north korea to a wide ranging free trade agreement. abe says he and obama agree ed concrete policies and the alliance's future direction. >> translator: i can confidently say the trust and bond in the japan/u.s. alliance are completely restored. >> obviously, japan is one of our closest allies.
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and the u.s./japan alliance is the central foundation for our regional security and so much of what we do in the pacific region. >> abe said he and obama agreed to take decisive action in response to north korea's missile launches and tests. abe says they'll work together on a new ruz aleutian and tougher sanctions. he also spoke about the east china sea. china and taiwan claim it. he says his administration would respond calmly to china's challenges and noted the u.s.-japan alliance acts as a stabilizing factor. both governments issued a statement on the u.s.-led negotiations for the trans pacific partnership free trade
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agreement. they say japan or any other nation that joins the negotiations will not be required to promise to eliminate all tariffs. abe is under pressure from japanese farmers to stay out of the tpp. before he left, he made another decision. he decided to send a representative to an annual ceremony pro moting the claim of the islands. south korea controls the territory. >> translator: it goes without saying that takeshima is an inherent part of japanese territory. it's a critical issue involving the sovereignty of our country. >> 19 lawmakers attended the ceremony in shimane prefecture. the prefectural government designated february 22nd as takeshima day eight years ago. japan incorporated the islands as part of shimane on that date in 1905. south korean citizens marked
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february 22nd as well, with a demonstration. they protested outside of assy . south korean officials launched a protest through diplomatic channels. >> translator: it's regrettable that the japanese government sent an official to attend such an unjustifiable event. we strongly protest the act. >> a short time later, japan's chief cabinet secretary rejected it. >> translator: we replied that we cannot accept the protest based on the japanese government's stance regarding the takeshima issue. >> the islands are in the waters
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between japan and south korea. the question of who owns them has long divided the nations. officials in tokyo say japan established sovereignty over takeshima by the mid-17th century. south koreans called the territory tokto. they maintain japan seized them during its colonial rule of the korean peninsula. officials in seoul say the islands were restored as korean territory after their country regained independence following world war ii. south korean security guards have been stationed on the islands since the 1950s. japanese leaders consider it an illegal occupation. outgoing south korean president lee myung-bak visited the territory last august. he was the first person in his position to do that. people in japan protested. japanese leaders want to take the case to the international court of justice. but south korean leaders have repeatedly refused to make a joint submission. despite the differences over this territory, prime minister abe says the dispute shouldn't hurt relations. members of his administration say cooperation between the two
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nations is increasingly important as north korean authorities continue to carry out or threaten provocative acts. abe is sending deputy prime minister taro aso to seoul as part of his efforts to rebuild ties. aso will be there on monday to attend president-elect park geun-hye's inauguration. former japanese prime minister mori has tried to help resolve a territorial dispute with russia. four islands off northern japan are held by the russians and claimed by the japanese. mori says he wants leaders to find a mutually acceptable situation. mori is abe's special enjoy to russia. he held talks with president putin, then spoke at a university in moscow. >> translator: if all four islands were returned, japan would be the winner. if both sides agreed to maintain
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the status quo, russia would be the winner. but such solutions would lead to lingering resentment on both sides. >> mori said exploring an acceptable solution will be the core of political negotiations and he said he wants prime minister abe to visit moscow as soon as possible for the first official summit in ten years. a sporting hero on trial for allegedly murdering his girlfriend is free again. at least for the time being. a magistrate in south africa granted bail to paralympic gold medalist, oscar court officials accepted his claim that he shot his girlfriend by mistake and said they didn't think he'd flee. he was arrested last week at his home. they found his girlfriend dead
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there with gun shot wounds. he told court officials he shot the woman because he mistook her for an intruder. his defense lawyers discredited the investigation. they say the lead detective's testimony was untrustworthy. the magistrate set bail at about $113,000. the european commission says the euro zone economy will contract for the second straight year in 2013. the commission says it expects gross domestic product to shrink 0.3% in the 17-nation euro zone from last year. that compares with the previous forecast of 0.1% growth. the commission said tight lending conditions, job cuts and sluggish investment are dragging the recovery. but it's projecting 1.4% growth for 2014. the commission says leading indicators suggest that the regi region's economy is bottoming
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out. and economic activity is expected to gradually pick up. it may look like a wristwatch, but it's a computer. technology giant apple has filed a patent application for a computer that people can wear like a watch. the u.s. patent and trademark office disclosed apple's patent filing on thursday. the computer has a flexible touch panel display. sensors inside detect a change in the state of sub straights and automatically adjusts to user interface to a new position. the computer wirelessly connects to other devices like smart phones. media reports last week that apple is developing a wearable computer. u.s. search engine giant google has working on a computer that looks like a pair of eyeglasses. competition in the field of wearable computers is expected to further intensify. take a look at the latest market figures.
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people in southern new zealand are looking back on the day an earthquake destroyed their homes and killed their loved ones. the magnitude 6.3 tremor hit the city of christchurch two years ago. nearly 200 people died, including a number of foreign students. nhk world's takao nakajima shows us how the city is remembering and rebuilding. ♪ >> reporter: this is a park in central christchurch, people have gathered to commemorate two years from the february
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earthquake. >> as we remember the destructive and terrifying earthquake that struck this city and the surrounding area two years ago today. >> reporter: the quake killed 185 people. nearly two-thirds of them were in this building in the city center. it used to house an english language school. it was damaged far more severely than other structures. investigators blame design flaws. 28 japanese were among the victims. some of the relatives visited the site where the building once stood. kazuo horita lost his 19-year-old daughter. >> translator: i feel more painful this year than last year. we want to know why the building collapsed and who is responsible. this should be clarified for the sake of our dead children.
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>> crews are still rebuilding central christchurch. the area includes one of the city's symbols, a cathedral that's more than 130 years old. it suffered heavy damage in the quake. citizens must keep out of a construction zone measuring 38 hectares. the fenced off area is one-tenth of what it was in 2011. people recognize christchurch has made progress. >> i think two years on, there's hope, you know, now that things are going to become better, and it's going to be better than before. but there is a lot of healing to do. >> reporter: and people here know that healing will take time. takao nakajima, nhk world, christchurch, new zealand.
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it's been almost two years since the disaster in fukushima. the accident at the daiichi power plant caused many to question the safety of atomic energy. it also drew attention to another complex issue, how to dispose of nuclear waste. >> reporter: the fukushima plant suffered a string of meltdowns and hydrogen explosions. workers struggled to keep reactors cool after the tsunami knocked out the electricity supply. but that wasn't the only problem. right next to the reactors are pools that store spent nuclear fuel. the pools started to heat up after the power went down. emergency crews had to pump in water to avoid a worst-case scenario, a meltdown of the fuel rods. thousands of rods are stored at
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the daiichi plant and thousands more around the country. they are the byproduct of half a century of atomic power generation and it keeps piling up. >> japan has 17,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel that needs to be disposed. nhk world has been covering nuclear energy issues. developing suitable technology is not the only challenge. >> japan's original plan was to recycle nuclear fuel, but technical problems have brought the project to a standstill. the processing plant has never gone into operation. nuclear waste remains toxic for tens of thousands of years, keeping people and the environment safe for this length of time is a huge challenge. one idea is to bury the waste deep underground.
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japan's government has backed this solution, as have many other countries. they say they have the technology to do this safely. japan's plan for underground burial has been on the drawing board for more than a decade. it would start by separating the waste into cylinders. the cylinders, 1.3 meters high and 70 centimeters in diameter, will be encased in concrete. the plan is to bury them 300 meters below the surface. they would be housed in a huge repository the size of about 200 soccer stadiums.
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the problem is where to bury. local authorities would have to give their permission. efforts to find a site began in the year 2000. the government had hoped stronger incentives would encourage bids to host the facility. it has offered up to 2 billion yen in subsidies to any region that applies. but 11 years after launching the bidding process, not a single candidate has emerged. it's a similar story in many other parts of the world. 30 countries in the world region operate nuclear plants.
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only two have decided where to build a long-term disposal site. they are finland and sweden. the united states has the largest number of reactors. the obama administration introduced a new disposal plant in january. but it won't be implemented until 2048, 35 years from now. finding a place to safely store nuclear waste was never going to be easy. the accident at fukushima has made it that much harder. this issue goes beyond whether japan should abolish nuclear energy. whatever the decision, this country and others have to deal with enormous amounts of waste and will have to do so for many years to come. >> that was nhk world's
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yohicharo osaki. pakistan is facing an energy shortage and is partnering with iran in the hopes of finding a solution. patchari raksawong at our bureau in bangkok is following the story. pakistan is cooperating with iran to import natural gas from the country. the pakistani government again pledged commitment to the project on thursday. but the announcement raises questions of the plant's impact on relations with the u.s. nhk world reports from islamabad. >> reporter: the pakistani government plans to build a pipeline in iran. construction is already under way on the iranian side of the border. the united states strongly opposes the project, saying it would benefit iran. the u.s. has denounced iran's nuclear development program. washington has urged islamabad
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to scrap the plan. a spokesperson for the pakistani foreign ministry stresses the country's position to push the project forward. >> we know that americans have reservation. pakistan being enormously energy deficit country, it is in our national interest to have this project and we are committed to have this project. >> reporter: natural gas powers more than 50% of automobiles in pakistan. new domestic gas fields are part of the government's energy policy centering on the resource. but it is difficult to meet the high demand. anti-government groups have destroyed pipelines and chronic financial difficulties have hampered development. gas shortages have significantly
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disrupted people's lives in the past year and public frustration is mounting. with the general election expected as early as this may, the government is hard pressed to fix the problem. amid these difficulties, iran has offered a financial support for the project. this helped pave the way for islamabad to go ahead with plan. u.s./pakistan relations have grown strained in recent years. the u.s. military launched a unilateral operation to kill al qaeda leader osama bin laden on pakistani soil. u.s. drone air strikes on terrorists in the country have killed pakistani citizens. the prime minister's government is putting high hopes on a partnership with iran as a quick solution to its energy crisis, but the move is likely to
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further jeopardize relations with the u.s. nhk world, islamabad. sunday night is oscar night in los angeles. and film fans in afghanistan have an extra reason to pay attention this year. a short movie made in the country has been nominated for an academy award. that means one young boy from the streets of kabul will soon find himself walking instead down a red carpet in hollywood. nhk world's hideki yui has his story. >> reporter: this is pakistan's national sport. men on horseback target a bull made of goat skin. the most successful players are
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treated like heroes. "buzkashi boys" tells the story of children who long to compete. but without money to buy a horse, they can't even practice. the film highlights harsh realities faced by many children in afghanistan. poverty prevents them from achieving their dreams. one of the main characters is played by this 14-year-old. in real life he is a street vendor. his father passed away when he was a child.
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the boy has been on the street selling chewing gum and mops since he was 6 years old. he dreamed of becoming a pilot, but it was hard enough to make a living, let alone think about going to school. >> translator: i don't want to give up my dream to become a pilot. i want to get many afghan people on a plane and take them to countries far away to see different cultures. >> reporter: it's been 11 years since the u.s.-led military intervention in afghanistan began. massive financial aid from the international community has helped improve daily life for some afghans. people living in urban areas can shop just for pleasure, but the majority still lives in poverty. less than half the children in the country go to school. in kabul, as many as 40,000
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children are said to make money washing cars or selling goods on the street. they use what they earn to buy daily necessities. fawad was one of them until his life took a turn two years ago. he caught the eye of this american director trying to shoot a film about the pride of afghan children. fawad was offered a major role. >> i think the director, as soon as he saw him, he realized he really wanted to use fawad. because fawad's got very captivating green eyes, and we wanted to show also the daily life of what afghanistan is like for most kids. >> reporter: the movie has received praise for its depiction of life in afghanistan. at the academy awards, it's nominated for best live action short.
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>> translator: before doing the movie, i never thought it was possible to make my dream come true. but now i'm thinking there may be a chance. >> reporter: even after the success of the film, it's not hollywood that fawad thinks about. he still sells goods on the streets of kabul to save as much money as he can, hoping that one day his dream of flying around the world as a pilot will come true. hideki yui, nhk world, kabul. >> fawad is now in the united states. he's been invited to attend the academy awards ceremony on sunday. and that will wrap up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong in bangkok. and here's the weekend weather forecast.
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once again, our top story at
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this hour, japanese prime minister shinzo abe and u.s. president barack obama have met and are trying to breathe new life into an alliance. they touched on everything from north korea to a wide range iin free trade aagreement. abe says they have agreed on policies and the alliance's future direction. >> translator: i can confidently say the trust and bond in the japan/u.s. alliance are completely restored. >> obviously, japan is one of our closest allies and the u.s./japan alliance is the central foundation for our regional security and so much of what we do in the pacific region. >> abe said he and obama agreed to take decisive action in response to north korea's
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missile launches and nuclear tests. abe he also spoke about the senkaku islands. he says his administration would respond calmly to china's challenges and he noted the japan-u.s. alliance acts as a stabilizing factor. both governments issued a statement on the u.s.-led negotiations on the free trade agreement. they say japan or any other nation that joins the negotiations will not be required to promise to eliminate all tariffs. abe is under pressure from japanese farmers to stay out of the tpp. that's all this hour on "newsline". i'm ross mihara in tokyo. thank you for watching and have a good day.

PBS February 22, 2013 7:00pm-7:30pm PST

News/Business. World events, business news and weather forecasts; broadcast in English. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Nhk 7, Afghanistan 5, Christchurch 5, Pakistan 5, Obama 4, China 3, Russia 3, Kabul 3, Tokyo 3, Iran 3, North Korea 2, Bangkok 2, Moscow 2, Washington 2, South Korea 2, Hideki Yui 2, Ross Mihara 2, Takao Nakajima 2, Newsline 2, Seoul 2
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